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NASA’s Space Launch System program kicks off preliminary design review

Posted June 21, 2013 by

NASA is beginning a preliminary design review for its Space Launch System. This major program assessment will allow development of the agency’s new heavy-lift rocket to move from concept to initial design. The preliminary design review process includes meticulous, detailed analyses of the entire launch vehicle. Representatives from NASA, its contractor partners and experts from…

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NASA announces asteroid grand challenge

Posted June 19, 2013 by

NASA announced June 18 a Grand Challenge focused on finding all asteroid threats to human populations and knowing what to do about them. The challenge, which was announced at an asteroid initiative industry and partner day at NASA Headquarters in Washington, is a large-scale effort that will use multi-disciplinary collaborations and a variety of partnerships…

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Cassini probe to take photo of Earth from deep space

Posted June 19, 2013 by

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, now exploring Saturn, will take a picture of our home planet from a distance of hundreds of millions of miles July 19. NASA is inviting the public to help acknowledge the historic interplanetary portrait as it is being taken. Earth will appear as a small, pale blue dot between the rings of…

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NASA’s newest solar mission spacecraft ready for launch

Posted June 17, 2013 by

The Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph spacecraft is on track for a launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., June 26. IRIS will fill a crucial gap in the ability of scientists to advance Sun-Earth connection studies by tracing the flow of energy and plasma through a dynamic interface region ñ the chromosphere and transition region…

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NASA selects next generation of space explorers

Posted June 17, 2013 by

After an extensive year-and-a-half search, NASA has a new group of potential astronauts who will help the agency push the boundaries of exploration and travel to new destinations in the solar system, including an asteroid and Mars. Eight candidates have been selected to be NASA’s newest astronaut trainees, hoping to be among those who are…

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NASA’s Webb Telescope’s last backbone component completed

Posted June 17, 2013 by

Assembly of the backbone of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the primary mirror backplane support structure, is a step closer to completion with the recent addition of the backplane support frame, a fixture that will be used to connect all the pieces of the telescope together. The backplane support frame will bring together Webb’s center…

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NASA-led study explains decades of black hole observations

Posted June 14, 2013 by

A new study by astronomers at NASA, Johns Hopkins University and the Rochester Institute of Technology confirms long-held suspicions about how stellar-mass black holes produce their highest-energy light. “Our work traces the complex motions, particle interactions and turbulent magnetic fields in billion-degree gas on the threshold of a black hole, one of the most extreme…

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Hubble uncovers evidence of farthest planet forming from its star

Posted June 14, 2013 by

using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have found compelling evidence of a planet forming 7.5 billion miles away from its star, a finding that may challenge current theories about planet formation. Of the almost 900 planets outside our solar system that have been confirmed to date, this is the first to be found at such a…

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SSL selected to provide satellite to SKY Perfect JSAT

Posted June 12, 2013 by

Space Systems/Loral, a leading provider of commercial satellites, announced June 11 that it was selected to provide a communications satellite to SKY Perfect JSAT, a leading satellite operator based in Japan, with a fleet of 16 satellites. The satellite, JCSAT-14, will replace JCSAT-2A at 154 degrees East longitude and expands on its capacity to meet…

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Marks on Martian dunes may reveal tracks of dry ice Sleds

Posted June 12, 2013 by

NASA research indicates† hunks of frozen carbon dioxide — dry ice — may glide down some Martian sand dunes on cushions of gas similar to miniature hovercraft, plowing furrows as they go. Researchers deduced† this process could explain one enigmatic class of gullies seen on Martian sand dunes by examining images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance…

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